Chase, the consumer banking arm of US giant JP Morgan Chase, will launch a mobile payment service in the US next year in partnership with MCX, the venture backed by leading retailers including Wal-Mart and Target.
Chase Pay will be available from mid-2016 to its 94 million credit, debit and pre-paid card accounts for online, in app as well as point-of-sale purchases.
Its scale makes Chase a formidable adversary for the other smartphone-based payment services in the US market. Mind you, Chase customers can already use Apple Pay if they wish. They can put a virtual version of their Chase credit cards in the Apple Pay wallet.
The US bank is partnering with MCX, the venture backed by leading US retailers which this week stepped up the pilot of its own CurrentC payment service (see below). Merchants backing MCX represent over 100,000 retail locations. Chase Pay will be gradually introduced at those locations, starting in the middle of next year.
“Chase customers will be able to use Chase Pay wherever CurrentC is accepted – either directly, or through the CurrentC app. Chase is also partnering with 17 technology vendors so that merchants who are not Chase Commerce Solutions clients can also participate in Chase Pay,” said the announcement.
But Chase is not using NFC technology. Like MCX, it supports a system where users pay by presenting a QR code on their smartphone screen, which is scanned by the cashier.
“In certain locations, like restaurants, consumers will be able to use their smartphone to take a picture of a receipt and pay with Chase Pay,” added the announcement, without being more specific how this technology will work.
Gordon Smith, Chase’s CEO of consumer & community banking, made the announcement at the Money 2020 conference in Las Vegas.
Separately, MCX extended its pilot in Ohio to 200 stores at 12 retailers in Ohio, CEO Brian Mooney told Reuters at the same event. Previously, the pilot was running in a few stores in Columbus, Ohio.
Mooney added that MCX expand the pilot to other states in the first quarter of 2016. “Customers who have used the product are using it more than once a week,” he added. Some observers have claimed MCX is being left behind by rivals such as Apple and Samsung who have already launched commercially in the US.